There’s no bigger sport in the United States than football, and there’s no bigger day in football than Super Bowl Sunday.
I’ll admit that I’m not much of a football fan most days of the year, but when it comes to the Super Bowl, even I take an interest in the action. To me, the Super Bowl isn’t just about football, it’s about the spirit- the food, the parties, the tailgating, the halftime show, even the commercials- all the elements of the occasion that make it a day worth celebrating. Especially this year with Indianapolis hosting the game, there will be dozens of activities and free concerts that should make the Super Bowl even better. The only problem, however, is Monday. Yes, Super Bowl Monday, the tragic day after the Super Bowl that makes football fans of all ages think twice before going all-out for the festivities the day before. Year after year, Super Bowl Monday is a damper on the spirit of the Super Bowl; the Grinch of football. In order for the Super Bowl to be fully celebrated, not just for football but for the culture and traditions in represents, Super Bowl Monday needs to become a national holiday and a day off of school and work.
Football is the most popular sport in the United States, and the Super Bowl is the most watched televised event in American with 111 million people watching it last year, according to Time Magazine. That’s over one third of the American population taking an interest in the Super Bowl. With that many people watching the game, you’d expect there to be parades going down the streets, people giving gifts, decorating their houses, having family togetherness. But there isnt, and there’s a reason why. Imagine celebrating Christmas with the prospect of having school the next day. Or imagine following Thanksgiving with a nice math test. These holidays wouldn’t be celebrated the same way if there weren’t a day afterwards to recover from the celebrations or spend more time with the family. The Super Bowl is no exception. The Super Bowl is just as important to American culture as any other holiday. All it needs is more time to be celebrated, and it can finally grow to be as big as the culture behind it.
Society has shown frustration against Super Bowl Monday in past years. In 2007, after the Colts won the Super Bowl, over 50 percent of bus drivers in the IPS school area called in sick on Monday. As a result, school had to be postponed with a 2 hour delay. In 2010, when the Colts went to the Super Bowl again, IPS schools scheduled a 2-hour day in advance to prepare for another round of “sick” bus drivers. There are even multiple Facebook pages in favor of the holiday with multiple thousands of likes in total.
Many other large sports events have sanctioned holidays from work and school. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa, for example, students in the area were given five extra days of vacations to allow more time to celebrate the biggest sport in their country. Even right here in central Indiana, Fishers High School has conveniently placed a “flex day” for Super Bowl Monday. Carmel Clay Schools could easily make the same minor change in their annual schedules. Making Super Bowl Monday a holiday would be a way to promote not only the most popular sport in America, but the culture and tradition that surround it.
The Super Bowl should be a huge event, but every year, the prospect of school or work the next day’s stops a full on celebration of the day. With Super Bowl Monday as a national holiday, the Super Bowl can finally become the event it deserves to be.